May 11, 2021

Freedom and Ease of Being: A Meditation Retreat for Our LGBTQAI+ Community

Freedom and Ease of Being: A Meditation Retreat for Our LGBTQAI+ Community

with Pascal Auclair and Anushka Fernandopulle

Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 19

Meeting format (During program sessions, you will be able to see and hear the teacher, as well as other program participants, and they will be able to see and hear you if you want).

We’ll create a virtual space of ease and support for LGBTQAI+ people to cultivate mindfulness, kindness and wisdom through insight meditation. Sharing silence and meditative space with community allows us to make greater peace with ourselves and our lives, one moment at a time. While listening to the teachings of wisdom and compassion and mindfully sitting, walking, eating and resting, liberating insights arise, and clarity and freedom are gained. We can learn to find an ever-deepening sense of well-being, touching joy and fostering the heart’s release. We practice in this way both for our own benefit and for the benefit of others.

This retreat is open to both experienced and beginner meditators who self-identify as queer, questioning, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, agender, intersex or two-spirit.

For this program, sliding scale fees are $40, $80, $100, or $130. Please select the highest rate you can reasonably afford. We also offer a scholarship fee of $20, and no-fee enrollment for those who request a fee-waiver. Our “Pay What You Can Afford” system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and contributes to the health and vibrancy of the sangha. Select the rate of your choice when you register. Email for more information or to request a no-fee enrollment.

Registration for this program closes 30 minutes prior to the opening session.

Teacher Support
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—offer their teachings freely, and rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. Teachers do not generally receive compensation from IMS program fees, though IMS may offer a modest advance to ensure financial support and the continuation of the teachings. Click here to learn more about teacher support. There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of your program, or you may donate now


Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Time ET:
Note: all sessions will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you missed one

Friday, Sept 17
7 pm – Opening and Sit – Anushka & Pascal (90 min)

Saturday, Sept 18
10 am – Instructions and Sit – Pascal (75 min)
1 pm – Sit and Q&A – Anushka & Pascal (75 min)
4 pm – Sit and Talk – Anushka (75-90 min)
7 pm – Heart Practices – Pascal (60 min)

Sunday, Sept 19
10 am – Instructions and Sit – Anushka (75 min)
1 pm – Sit and Q&A – Pascal & Anushka (75 min)
4 pm – Sit and Talk – Pascal (75-90 min)
7 pm – Sit and Closing – Anushka & Pascal (75-90 min)

Possible Personal Practice Schedule:
9 am – sit
9:30 am – walk
10 am – instructions
11:15 am – walk
12 – lunch
1 pm – Q+A
2:15 pm- walk
2:45 pm – siit
3:30 pm – walk
4 pm – talk
5:15 pm – meal
7 pm – heart practices
8 pm – walk
8:30 pm – sit
9 pm – rest


Teacher Bios

Pascal Auclair has been immersed in Buddhist practice and study since 1997, sitting retreats in Asia and America with revered monastics and lay teachers. He has been mentored by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield here at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, where he now teaches retreats. Pascal teaches in North America and in Europe. He is a co-founder and Guiding Teacher at True North Insight in Canada.

Anushka Fernandopulle lives in San Francisco and teaches retreats and workshops around the world. She has trained in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the US, India and Sri Lanka for over 30 years. Anushka also works as a leadership coach and management consultant, influenced by a BA in anthropology/religion from Harvard and an MBA from Yale School of Management. She is on the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Her teaching is informed by arts, nature, politics, social justice and modern urban life. For more info please see

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